NCCA, CCP want more national artists from Visayas, Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (PIA) — Arts and culture officials want more national artists coming from the regions, as most of the awardees are from Luzon and the National Capital Region.

Officials from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) are embarking on special press conferences in Mindanao and Visayas to help spread awareness among various sectors to nominate their national artists.

Hindi pa gaano ka-aware ang mga tao sa regions, so one idea is to come up with this press conference wherein we also impart to the public sino-sino tong mga national artist kasi nababasa ko lang sila when I was in college or high school part lessons sa currents events ng social studies,” says outgoing NCCA executive director Oscar Casaysay, who attended the Call for Nominations Press Conference held at SM Lanang Cinema 6 in Davao City on April 19.

(People in the regions aren’t very aware yet, so one idea is to hold a press conference where we also inform the public about who these national artists are because I only read about them when I was in college or high school as part of current events lessons in social studies)

According to studies, out of the  list of 116 national artists, 67 came from Luzon and 35 came from the National Capital Region. Only nine national artists came from Visayas and five from Mindanao.Dennis Marasigan, vice -president and artistic director of the CCP, said though the list indicates the artists and their birthplaces, many of them are based or practicing their craft in Manila or Luzon.

The press conference of the CCP and the NCCA also presented live performances that highlighted the works of the different national artists. There was also a brief presentation on the nomination process for the national artist award.

During the presscon for the National Artist nominations (from left) National Artist for Dance Agnes Locsin, NCCA executive director Oscar Casaysay, and CCP artistic director Dennis Marasigan

“Part of the reason why in this presentation we made this afternoon, we highlighted the process and requirements in our experience is that sometimes there might be somebody nominated who is not from the centers, the metropolitan cities, but then the materials that are given are not sufficient enough for the panels to come up with a competent decision on the merits of the work,” Marasigan said.

This information on the process and requirements will give national artists from regions distant from the national center a chance to submit sufficient requirements. He added that the panel of experts examining the documents submitted also comes from different parts of the country.


“However, if the materials that are given and  handed out to the panel regarding those that are not nationally known are also not sufficient, then obviously, when the time comes, they will determine who will move on to the next level of deliberations, and  those who actually have more works that are nationally famous and have more complete requirements will have a better chance,” Marasigan said.

He said it is equally important to fully document the works of these potential national artists.

Dabawenya dance icon Agnes Locsin, who was named National Artist for Dance in 2022, said that preparing the requirements for the national artists requires a team.

“To nominate a national artist, it takes a team, because I asked my assistant, ‘How were you able to nominate me?’ ang kanyang gi-tap my former dancers based in Manila, Davao, they were a team, ang dami nila (there were many) to put up a nomination package, ganun ka kapal (it was that thick),” Locsin said.

Locsin advised younger artists who are aspiring to be  national artists to document their works so they would not have a hard time preparing their credentials for the national artist nominations.

The National Artist Award was established in 1972 and is the highest national recognition conferred upon Filipinos who have made distinct contributions to arts and letters. It is among the National Orders of Cultural and Scientific Merit in the Philippines. The award is conferred upon the recommendations of the CCP and the NCCA.

For those interested in nominating  artists in their region for the National Artist Award, they can email the NCCA at [email protected] or visit the NCCA website at (RVC/RGA/PIA-11)

In other News
Skip to content